Nine-year-old girl follows in dad's footsteps to become tattoo artist

Noko Nishigaki, now nine, has built a growing list of clients and often uses her father’s skin as a canvas to practice on.

Born in Japan but having recently moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands, Noko tattoos out of parlour belonging to her father, Kenji, a well-known Japanese tattooist who goes by the name “Gakkin.”

Noko has developed her skills over the past three years, and she is now responsible for designing, practicing and executing her own ideas, often choosing to draw delicate birds and dream-catchers.

Noko Nishigaki, 9, who sports temporary tattoos, is following in her father the footsteps of her father, a Japanese tattoo artist. Source: Caters

The nine-year-old takes around two hours to complete each piece and uses silicon, oranges and her father’s skin to practice her designs on. 

Noko seeks her inspiration from John James Audubon book of bird painting masterpieces that was printed in the early 1800s.

When she isn’t sporting temporary tattoo sleeves and holding a tattoo gun in her hand, Noko’s other hobbies include dancing and gaming with her friends.

Noko draws inspiration from images of birds. Source: Caters

The little girl never charges for her tattoos and artistically, her only aspiration is to be able to draw a “beautifully straight line.”

Her father added his little girl’s clients “always look very happy”.

“She receives many warm messages and often cheers from them,” he said.

“Her favourite thing to design is birds – she has many stuffed bird toys and even has a pet bird, who is currently being looked after by her grandparents in Japan.”

Mr Nishigaki said Noko designed her first tattoo when she was six, and “received an honourable mention award for a drawing contest for an insurance company”. 

“She is really looking forward to going back to Japan and seeing her bird again,” he said.